Any players who are/were a concertizing soloist on more than one instrument?
Has there ever been or are there any classical soloists who have a dual career - they're known for their solo work on more than one instrument at a professional level - i.e. concert dates, recording contracts?
Sergei Nakariakov concertizes on trumpet and flugelhorn, Maurice Andre performed on various members of the trumpet family but what I'm thinking of are different instrument families - say violin and piano, piano and flute, whatever.
Julia Fischer, violin and piano.
Rostropovich often accompanied his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, on piano but I doubt he ever performed solo.
Jean Harvey (who I think taught violin at RCM a long time ago) was very accomplished on both violin and piano. I think she performed at the BBC Proms as soloist on both instruments.
Back in the 1940s, Ruth Gipps performed as a soloist with professional orchestras on both oboe and piano -- though I believe most of her solo appearances on both instruments were as a stand-in for absent soloists, as she was regularly an oboist in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Unfortunately a hand injury ended her performing career on both instruments at age 33.
In the non-classical genres there are plenty of people that are both good singers and instrumentalists.
Thanks to Andrew, I've just read up on Ruth Gipps. The reason I had heard of her, that she was the regular conductor for an amateur orchestra in either West London or Eastbourne or both (I forget where - I thought it was West London near where I worked, but my parents retired to near Eastbourne, so I am confused) wasn't found worthy of mention in anything I have now read about her.
When I saw the title first thoughts were Julia Fischer and Zukerman. However more thinking brought up the thought of Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. I don't know if he actively concertized, but he is at least proficient on piano and was trained as a cellist (his YouTube videos are great)
@John - I think I can resolve some of your uncertainties. When I knew her in the 1980's Ruth Gipps was the prime mover and conductor of the London Repertoire Orchestra for amateurs and music students that rehearsed twice weekly in Clerkenwell. Most of our concerts took place in the RCM, later the Guildhall School. Her retirement home was not far from Eastbourne. For several years I was the orchestral chairman (a purely constitutional post!) and also played in her scratch professional orchestra, the Chanticleer which played some sparsely attended concerts in the QEH. She was certainly multi-talented, now getting some measure of her proper deserts as a composer although the concert of her works that the Chanticleer played for her 60th birthday celebration was a bit of a hall-emptier!
To be fair, I don't think Julia Fischer is a "concertizing soloist" on the piano. She would not be engaged as a piano soloist if she were not "Julia Fischer, violinist".
Most trumpeters have to play flugel to some degree especially those playing in jazz or orchestral settings, and have a fleet of instruments they use:
I've heard that Rostropovich occasionally played a Mozart piano concerto or two in concerts in Russia. This would of course have been many years ago. He was also known as a conductor, as many soloists have been at some time or other.
Julia Fischer always comes up in these discussions. And yeah what she's accomplished is pretty amazing. Still she's a bit of a "one-hit wonder" since the only thing she has ever really performed on the piano is the Grieg PC.
Harold Bauer started as a violinist, and was told to switch because he had a nice profile.
Fritz Kreisler comes to mind. He actually did a little concert work and there a very few recordings of his performances. His pianist contemporaries all agreed that he played piano like a professional pianist, not a violinist who also knew piano. At least one professional pianist of the time even commented that he played better than they did, Paderewski I believe. But Kreisler was an exceptional talent by any standard and even he didn’t have a full career as a solo pianist at all.
No we're not counting conducting!! Come on now Jeewon. :)
You do have some athletes who have done more than one thing. Danny Ainge and John Elway were both drafted to play baseball. There are several who carved out careers in pro basketball and baseball. Baseball was not Jackie Robinson’s best sport. And more recently, you have Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders.
Boy has this thread lost itself! The following don't count: conductors, Ruth Gipps (sadly), soloists who in their youth were good on another instrument, orchestral players who double on other instruments, violinist/violists, occasional pianists and (especially) sports people. But there's an interesting book called Why Michael Jordan Couldn't Hit.
If we're casting the net wider to include sport, Nigel Mansell won F1 and Indycar championships in consecutive years. As a sideline, he played golf in the Australian Open one year, though didn't make the cut.
What about the NASCAR guys who also drive those stupid little pickup trucks around ... Craftsman Series or whatever they call it now. Or the miler who also runs the 1500? Or the performing violinist who's also a
Probably the best example of this is
OP, What do you mean by "*concertizing soloist* on more than one instrument"?
Carlos Salzedo was a harpist, pianist, and composer. I had heard of him and his music when I studied harp (briefly) as a teenager with a student of his.
----Mozart, Piano and Violin, and later, Viola, which isn't different enough from violin to count. I am neither famous, or that good, but once in a concert, I sang the Schubert Forelle song immediately before playing viola in the Trout quintet.
Nothing to contribute to the actual question, but I'm amazed that none of you talking about sports has mentioned Lolo Jones or Lauryn Wlliams! (a lot of sprinters seem to moonlight as bobsledders)
Fritz Kreisler is the only person I can think of that meets your criteria. He had an exclusive recording contract for piano with Ampico and RCA also did a few recordings of his piano work after that. I believe he also played piano on some recordings with his brother. He’s not known for public performances on piano but well known for playing privately with the best pianists in the world of his day. During his time he was better known for piano than he is now, mostly because not as many recordings of his piano performances survive I think.
If you're talking about sport, there's Ian Botham, who played both cricket (for England) and football (For Scunthorpe) professionally, and Eric Liddell, olympic champion athlete and Scottish National Rugby player (neither professional, I know, but that sort of level). And of course Vanessa and her combination of fiddling and Olympic skiing. I expect tennis and table tennis are too similar, but Fred Perry was world champion in both (in fact, he took up tennis because he got bored with just being world ping pong champion).
Phil Collins sings and plays the piano and drums. I think he acted in a couple of movies too.
Scott, if you go back beyond the modern and Romantic eras, there are SEVERAL who excelled and performed on more than one class of instrument. J S Bach surely could perform everything he wrote for either violin or keyboard or organ (or maybe cello also), and probably did perform some of it. Haydn was certainly employed in a soloist capacity on both violin and various keyboard instruments - and Mozart has already been mentioned. I'm sure there are others.
One of the more astonishing doubles in sporting history would be Simen Agdestein, who at his peak was ranked 12th in the world at chess while he was also actively playing professional soccer and considered a rising star on the Norwegian national team. Interestingly, when an injury ended his soccer career prematurely at the age of 24, his chess rating took a nosedive (probably for mental health reasons) and never recovered. He later went on to coach current world chess champion Magnus Carlson.
"I don't control what others reply - their replies don't alter what I meant. I thought I made it reasonably clear what I meant - someone who has:
@David, I disagree that the answer is No. There aren't any current artists that meet Scott's criteria, but Fritz Kreisler did in his day. Of course he's known as one of the best violin soloists in history, and as an outstanding composer, but he also did have a recording contract for piano with Ampico, and was negotiating for one with RCA as well, and he played piano on several recordings for other artists. He was known to play with the best pianists in the world, all of whom have said he was their equal on the piano.
Sting plays bass (electric and upright), guitar, and sings. Grace Kelly (the saxophonist) also sings. As did the trumpeter, Chet Baker.
I didn't read the whole thread but I didn't notice any mention Alma Deutscher. I saw her perform her own violin and piano concertos. Very good.
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